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Sanjiv’s story

I realised it was the type of thing I’d always wanted to do, but never realised I had the opportunity. I was amazed I hadn’t thought of it before.

It started when I happened to see a doctor on breakfast TV one day, while I was eating my corn flakes. He mentioned that some people chose to donate a kidney to a stranger. I didn’t even know this was something you could do. As soon as I heard about it, it immediately sparked something in me. I knew at that point that it was something I was going to do.

I didn’t tell it to many people until quite late on in the process. When I did, there were definitely some people who didn’t understand and that it was an unnecessary, but they also, but they also understood why I wanted to do it. I saw it as an opportunity to do something, to give something back to those who need it.

Sometimes I think to myself ‘actually, I did something that could be construed as quite selfish’. I chose to donate a kidney because I wanted to do it, and there there were definitely rewards to that act – someone benefited from my donation, and I felt really good about that. It’s this pot of good feeling that I can dip into when I’m feeling low. I’ve done this great thing and someone else has benefitted from it. Looking back, I’m very glad I did it.

The only issue is that I felt bad for putting my loved ones through concern. I was convinced it was fine and I was happy with the decision I had made, but they sometimes struggled, and I didn’t want them to struggle. I made sure to take them on that journey of with me and learn everything about living kidney donation.

It certainly puts a different perspective on life’s little nuisances. When the train’s running late, or the waiter serves you from the wrong side.

It makes you think “come on now. There are other things, bigger things, out there, this isn’t worth worrying about.”

Some people think what I did was completely selfless, but I’ve honestly gotten so much back from what I did. I can just think about it, and the consequences of what I did, and feel really good. There’s someone out there who’s benefitted from my action, who is better off from my donation. That’s really all I needed to act.

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